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Armathwaite Wedding

The Joyce Wedding
17th June 2018

How They Met…

Helena and Stuart met in 2015 at their local gym. Stu, then a personal trainer, approached Helena in an attempt to gain her as a client. Little did they know, they’d hit it off so well…

Their Engagement Story…

On 14th April 2016, just over a year later, the two were engaged. Stu enlisted Helena’s mum to create the perfect set up in the barn where Helena’s horse was kept. Once Helena was lured there under false pretences, she saw the barn lined with candles and rose petals and their first dance song playing as Stu got down on one knee as the question was popped.

The answer was, of course, “YES!”

Their Wedding Day…

Helena and Stu were engaged for just over 2 years before they decided that Armathwaite Hall was their perfect venue.

“Coming from Kent but having a strong family history in the Lakes we knew we wanted to get married in the Lake District in somewhere that really gave the best the Lakes has to offer. Brilliant scenery, excellent service and just stunning – what more could you want?”

The Ceremony

The ceremony was full of laughter and tears – even from the registrar! Helena walked down the aisle to singer Megan McConnell (www.meganmcconnellsinger.com) who sang ‘At Last’ by Etta James. The couple describe the whole day as perfect, even if Helena’s veil did get caught in the door on the way!

While the register was being signed, Megan also sang ‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone and ‘Big Bad Handsome Man’ by Imelda May before the couple left to the Disney classic ‘Bare Necessities’ (a favourite of Stu’s father Bruce).

During the Prosecco drinks reception, Megan sung jazz and vintage twist contemporary music out in the terrace.



The Dress

Helena wore a Justin Alexander Signature plunging v-neck ballgown in oyster silk dupioni with a beaded bodice from Perfection Bridal in Kent. She also added a two-tier cathedral length veil with lace and beaded appliques and chose to have her Swarovski crystal and pearl headpiece custom made by Etsy seller Sabina KW Designs based in New York.

Helena’s three bridesmaids wore dark raspberry pink floor length dresses with a lace back. Hair was done by Sarah at Halo Hair & Beauty (based in Carlisle) and makeup by Armathwaite Spa.



The Décor

65 guests attending the wedding, which had a glamourous feel with a few sausage dog themed bits and pieces thrown in to showcase the couple’s personalities. Jamie and Andrew from The Memory Knot Company/Simply Bows were approached to supply champagne silk chair bows, table runners and some other décor items and the couple decided to add candles in a variety of mercury glass and clear holders and scatter crystals for a touch of sparkle.

Favour boxes were made by Helena herself, decorated with embellishments that matched the wedding invitations and complete with a mix of sweets and chocolate.

The day was filled with flowers, all provided by Kerry from The Floristry in Windermere. The centrepieces a mixture of hydrangea, roses, peonies, ranunculus and eucalyptus in pale pinks and whites in tall glass containers. The bouquets also included peonies, roses and ranunculus in a range of pinks from raspberry to white.


The Wedding Breakfast

To cater to a number of tastes, Helena and Stu gave guests a choice of;

  • Starter: Poached lemon chicken, ham hock terrine or carrot and parmesan soup
  • Main: Chicken with gratin potatoes and chorizo, salmon with pak choi or wild mushroom risotto.
  • Dessert: Sticky toffee pudding or white chocolate panna cotta


The wedding cake was an ivory and champagne coloured five tiers with a metallic, rose ruffle and sugar flower details in chocolate, lemon, salted caramel and Victoria sponge layers. It was made by Claire at Mama Cakes (www.mamacakes.co.uk).

The Entertainment

Helena and Stu’s first dance was to ‘Giving You The Best That I Got’ by Anita Baker (also Helena’s parents first dance song too). After that, entertainment was provided by Megan and The Fusion Dukes (www.thefusiondukes.com) as well as fireworks by Phil Hetherington.

The couple’s photographer was Tim Emmerton (www.timemmerton.co.uk).



The Honeymoon…

After a week in the Lakes to relax and recover, Helena and Stu jetted off to Florence, Tuscany and Umbria for a little over two weeks.

Looking Back…

“We both remember it as the absolute happiest day of our lives, we were smiling and laughing all day and it was simply amazing not only to marry your best friend but with all your closest friends and family around you too.”

Recommendations for Bride and Grooms to be?

Never be afraid to ask! Helena and Stu customised the package offered so that they had exactly what they wanted for their day.


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